Cal State Chico Students and @KCSCRadio Say #irespectmusic in a Big Way! — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

Blake Morgan asked me to post his statement on these awesome students at Cal State Chico, the student run SOTA Productions and especially KCSC Radio with big congratulations on their campus #irespectmusic event campaigning for artist pay for radio play! An uplifting surprise before Blake’s panels at Canadian Music Week next week when he takes […]

via Cal State Chico Students and @KCSCRadio Say #irespectmusic in a Big Way! — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda Doesn’t Want to Pay for Diary of Anne Frank.


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Demagogue much?  German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda complains she can’t read The Diary of Anne Frank    It’s available on Amazon and iBooks for as little as $6.99. It’s also likely available in her local bookstore.  So what she really means is she doesn’t want to pay for it!

Artists, authors and performers have long been familiar with the moral depravity and demagoguery of the Pirate Party, but it has probably never been that clear to the general public.  Fortunately this recent series of tweets by Julia Reda (EU Member of Parliament for the German Pirate Party),  her self identified “minion”  Gilles Bordelais,  and author John Degan  make it quite easy to understand.  ( UPDATE: John Degan has an excellent blog on this exchange here : Why I bought a book for a German Pirate)

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The thing is Reda and Bordelais DO have access to The Diary of Anne Frank. What the German MEP Reda and her minion  (his self applied moniker, not mine) are whinging about is that they don’t have FREE access to the book. Yes this highly paid Member of EU Parliament is balking at paying approximately $7 for a widely available eBook! But she doesn’t mention that. Why?

Clearly she intends for the general public to be left with the impression that the diary is not available because of “bad” copyright laws. This is pure demagoguery and if the EU parliament was an actual functioning and responsible governing body (instead of a bad parody of a student mock UN)  she might actually be reprimanded for this nonsense.

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Pirate Party MEP bravely fights the powerful and evil Anne Frank Foundation!

But the demagoguery and distortions are not the worst of it. When you consider the fact that her actions have the potential to undermine the revenues and hence the good work of the Anne Frank Foundation (supported by sales of The Diary of Anne Frank) you have to question her personal judgment and qualifications to represent Germany at the EU.  Through the Anne Frank Foundation  sales and licensing fees support a vast array of charities and social projects. Many of these entities are focused on anti-semitism, anti-racism, anti-fascism and encouraging Jewish-Palestinian dialogue.  There is even a fund to pay for the medial expenses of those that risked their lives to protect Jews during WWII.

You can see more here. 

And it pains me greatly to point out the painfully obvious but: You’d think a GERMAN sitting member of  European parliament would have a little more sensitivity and think twice before using The Diary of Anne Frank and Anne Frank Foundation for a cheap political stunt.   After all it was her countrymen that reduced the length of Anne Frank’s copyright (70 years plus life) by murdering her.   This is not a cheap shot, because Reda and her fellow pirates are specifically arguing that it should be in the public domain based on the year of her death rather than the later death of her father (a co-author of the edited commercial work). 

It makes me sick to my stomach to even have to explain this.

So my question to Julia Reda is this:

What’s more important?

  • Scoring cheap political points while financially undermining a foundation that fights fascism, intolerance and anti-semitism?
  • Or being a decent human being?

You can express your opinions to Julia Reda by tweeting at her here @Senficon  (although she’s blocked many of us already)

email her here:

or call her office: +32(0)2 28 45732

or mail her a copy of The Diary of Anne Frank here

European Parliament
Rue Wiertz
Altiero Spinelli 05F158
1047 Brussels


Addendum on MLK’s “Dream” speech.  

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Evan Greer, Fight for the Future founder and Boston’s first anti-civil rights folksinger  organized a civil disobedience campaign against the King family estate by encouraging people to violate Kings rights and post the I Have A Dream speech to YouTube and social media.  Why? The answer my friend is blowing in the Center for Rights in Action Federal 990 tax forms.

It should be noted that this outrageous and tone deaf demagoguery is not just an EU Pirate Party problem. A US organization with similar views  on copyright baited and harassed the family of Martin Luther King on the 50th anniversary of his “I Have A Dream Speech”  Fight For The Future  organized a “civil disobedience” campaign to post the King speech to YouTube and other social media sites against the wishes of the King estate.  It’s time for these spiteful copyleft bullies to be called out.

You can write Fight For The Future here:


All screenshots.


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Editor Note: “Plonk” is european for “I’m an arrogant Twat”



Drivers, Über Is Selling Your Job: Google, Über and Lyft Revolving Door Lobbyist Asks Feds for Driverless Cars — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

As is well known, Über is as close to Google as 1 is to 2. So, if there’s any silver lining in the Über corporate power grab going on in Austin right now over a ballot measure to bring Über drivers in line with background checks on taxi drivers, it’s that all the world can see just how […]

via Drivers, Über Is Selling Your Job: Google, Über and Lyft Revolving Door Lobbyist Asks Feds for Driverless Cars — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

Enter the DC Lobbyists as Austin Gets More Fleas from Uber


Uber’s attempt to enter the Austin market is becoming the proverbial cautionary tale for what can happen to an otherwise cool, live and let live city’s way of life when Silicon Valley’s tech bully boys descend on the town.  And decide to spend whatever it takes to get their way.

Early voting begins today on a ballot initiative paid for by Uber and Lyft, and it’s becoming blatantly apparent that Lyft may have the wrong style mustache on their cars (h/t Mike Godwin).  The ballot initiative would replace a duly enacted regulation of the Austin City Council to require fingerprinting of Uber and Lyft drivers with a new regulation drafted by the billion dollar corporations that would strike the fingerprinting requirement.

According to the Austin-American Statesman, taxi drivers, limo drivers and other public transportation operators also have to undergo fingerprint-based background checks.

What happens next will be very, very familiar…

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Coming Soon To Your City: Uber and Lyft Bring Silicon Valley Style Hardball Politics to Austin

Silicon Valley is the new “dark money” of local politics.


Americans are freedom loving people and nothing says freedom like getting away with it.

from Long Long Time by Guy Forsyth.

The list of outsider big money special interests that fared poorly after running into local Austin resident groups with staying power and grassroots clout is long and distinguished.

Even so, the radical change in Austin’s skyline bear mute witness to just how futile is resistance against determined multinationals. If you’ve ever experienced a Google Fiber rep trying to force his way into your back yard, you know what I’m talking about.

Uber and Lyft are using surge pricing of political influence to run headlong into this conflict as the brogrammers pour millions into a ballot measure to rewrite local laws to their benefit and finance the brinksmanship between the commoditizer and the commoditized that we are all too accustomed to.

But for once local elected officials are for…

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What YouTube Could Learn from Record Companies

Don’t forget that Google faces EU charge over Android ‘abuse of dominance’ Google doesn’t need any more bad publicity.


Peter Mensch gave voice to what many in the music business believe as reported by the BBC:

“YouTube, they’re the devil,” [Peter Mensch] told a BBC Radio 4 documentary on the music business. “We don’t get paid at all.”

He said the site’s business model, in which artists make money by placing ads around their music, was unsustainable.

“If someone doesn’t do something about YouTube, we’re screwed,” he said. “It’s over. Someone turn off the lights.”

YouTube’s reaction?  It’s not them, it’s the labels, the “gatekeepers”.  YouTube pays high royalties for music, it’s that it’s not getting to the artists because it’s being siphoned off by “gatekeepers”.  According to YouTube’s Chief Business Officer–the Suit of Suits–Robert Kyncl:

“There are middle-men – whether it’s collection societies, publishers or labels – and what they do is they give advances and they want those recouped. So it’s really hard when there’s no…

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Exactly 86,000 Identical Comments: The Illegal Comment Bombing of DMCA Notice & Takedown Review By Google Proxy “Fight For The Future”

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Comment bots?  What comment bots? Exactly 86,000 identical comments filed to website?  Since the website wasn’t even created until march 31st 2:29pm New York time, that is at least 40 comments a minute. But even that is likely an underestimate. How long did it take to build the website and code a web form to comment bomb the site?  

The Copyright Office has posted the results of the comment gathering process on the DMCA “Takedown and Notice” provision 512 (i).  The Takedown and Notice process is an  important (if weak) tool available to copyright owners to combat copyright infringement on the web. Basically the Takedown and Notice provision forces musicians and songwriters to police the entire web (at considerable expense) and send a notice for each and every infringing file on the web.  The tech behemoths that host this material are granted a “safe harbor” from the infringement generated by their users if they respond in a timely fashion to these notices and remove the files.  However virtually every one of these tech behemoths allows users to simply immediately upload the file again.  This “whack-a-mole” system has been very profitable for tech companies.  Google owned YouTube generates significant revenue (8 Billion dollars according to Morgan Stanley) from the “user generated content” supported platform.

In the case of my catalogue most of this user generated content on YouTube isn’t really generated by users at all.  It’s simply album art and ripped audio that I own, none of which was “generated” by the users.  Further the repetition of certain key phrases in the profiles of these “users” suggest that much of this style of mass infringement is committed by an organized group.  Yes, I am arguing RICO laws apply.   It seems odd that a company that claims its mission is to “organize the worlds information”  would not be able to write a simple algorithm to flag this type of behavior that appears to be criminal.  But then again that would give them “red flag” knowledge and they could no longer Sgt. Shultz (“I see nothing!”) the problem.    And then there is the matter of all those billions of views they’d actually have to pay royalties on…

So naturally when the Copyright Office decided to review the  Notice and Takedown provisions everyone in the creative community expected pushback from Google and astroturf  proxies like  (AstroTurf? What sort of grassroots organizations can hire a DC lobbyist like Pale Blue?) What no one expected was for proxies like Fight For The Future to apparently violate the law in their pushback.

Violate the law?  Yes.  Fight For The Future created a “comment bot”  that bombed the website with identical, anonymous and  most likely fraudulent multiple comments to the Copyright Office.  Consider the following:


  1. Fight for the Future bragged to it’s supporters that their “campaign” (actually a comment bot)  crashed the Copyright Office website.  If this claim is true how is this not a “denial of service” attack on a federal government server?
  2. If this claim is false, why is FFTF asking for donations using this false claim? False advertising?
  3. The rules for submission of comments to the website clearly state that comments must be made to their website, not made to the FFTF website and then submitted by robots to the website.
  4. 47,418 of the comments submitted by FFTF to the website did not disclose first and last name as required. Many are anonymous and clearly fake names like “Fuck DMCA” or “Screw DMCA.”  Why did post these comments?  These do not meet the requirements.  (see screenshots).
  5. FFTF partnered with Channel Awesome on YouTube to generate comments.   This channel is largely oriented to teens and pre-teens.   This was essentially a political advertisement to children.  The FTC has generally required much higher standards when it comes to exaggerations and dubious claims when ads are directed to children.  Even if this is not illegal (I’m not an expert),  I think it is totally insane (and creepy) to push hysterical misinformation on a channel directed at children and then direct them to make comments on a third party website that then posts these comments to government website where they are required to identify themselves!  What kind of people get minors involved in something that may turn out to be an illegal activity?  Where are the grownups?
  6. My test of the FFTF comment bot indicated that it accepted comments from IP addresses outside of the United States.
  7. My test of the FFTF comment bot indicated that one could simply reload the page and post over and over again. Thus allowing fraudulent multiple comments.
  8. My test of the FFTF comment bot indicated that it did not verify email addresses or names of those commenting and yet posted these comments to the website.
  9. A suspiciously round number of comments were identical (86,000) and used the FFTF template (see screenshots).   Sure that’s not proof of bots, but it is weird.  And the OMB (manages  should really look into this.

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47,418 comments filed and accepted by website fail to properly identify person posting comment. Almost all of these comments appear to have been submitted using the FFTF comment bot. (Contained template text).

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Fake name example 1

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Fake name example 2

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Fight For The Future bragging about repeatedly crashing Copyright Office’s servers while soliciting donations for their organization.  Also notice the “more than 86,000 comments.”  They really like that number. 

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The Children’s Crusade: Fight For The Future partnered with teen oriented YouTube Channel Awesome in comment bombing of copyright office. 

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Website was created March 31st at 2:29 NY Time.


Corrections:  We did the math on the daylight savings time backwards.  It was actually 2:29 pm Eastern when the website was created.   Not 12:29 as previously stated.   An earlier version of this post said “did verify email addresses” when in fact we meant “did not verify email addresses”.  




YouTube’s Content ID : $375.00 Per Million Views… aka “Block In All Countries”…

With the major labels in the throws of license expiration with YouTube this seems like a good time to review the math…

The Trichordist

We’ve been supplied nearly a year’s worth of Content ID data from a mid-sized indie label. Over the course of about a year here’s what the data shows:

Content ID

After nearly a year and 80 million plays, the net average per play amounts to less than $375.00 per MILLION Plays on YouTube. Ok, that’s just for the sound recording, there are two other parts to the uploaded copyright, the musical composition and the video content itself. Assuming each of the three parts earns an equal share (why would they not, but how would we know given YouTube’s usual secrecy sauce?), then the full amount payable by YouTube for 1 Million plays via Content ID would be $1,125, or $.001125 per play (on average).

We know that on directly uploaded videos where the creator or rights holder is claiming all three copyrights they are being paid more than $1,125 per million plays on…

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Compulsory Licenses Should Require Display of Songwriter Credits

Chris Castle asks why the US compulsory licenses don’t require services to display songwriters as this is clearly required by treaties to which the US is a party.

It also begs the question: By failing to obtain names of writers and display them are services violating Article 27, Universal Declaration of Human Rights which requires the protection of “moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author?” Attribution being the most important of these rights.

Music Tech Solutions

by Chris Castle

In Washington, DC yesterday, I was honored to participate in a symposium on the subject of “moral rights” sponsored by the U.S. Copyright Office and the George Mason University School of Law’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property.  The symposium’s formal title was “Authors, Attribution and Integrity” and was at the request of Representative John J. Conyers, Jr., the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee.  (The agenda is linked here.  For an excellent law review article giving the more or less current state of play on moral rights in the U.S., see Justin Hughes’ American Moral Rights and Fixing the Dastar Gap.)

The topic of “attribution” or as it is more commonly thought of as “credit” is extraordinarily timely as it is on the minds of every music creator these days.  Why?  Digitial music services have routinely refused to display any credits beyond…

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Radiohead Disavows Non-Manager Brian Message with a “Nasty” Message

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Press release from Radiohead’s publicity firm Nasty Little Man.  

Ouch!  Still it is better than being called “a lying sack of shit.”

Brian Message has been pedaling his pro-Spotify and Google nonsense under the pretense of being “Radiohead’s Manager” for years.  Frankly it’s shocking that he’s been able to get away with it for so long.

Check out some of the links I turned up in 15 seconds.

Radiohead’s Manager Defends Spotify, Feels Nigel Godrich’s Wrath

Radiohead’s manager sides with Spotify

Radiohead’s Manager Brian Message: Staying On Message

“Streaming Music Is Critically Important” – Radiohead’s Co-Manager Brian Message